As the year draws to an end, we will begin to reflect on how well our year has gone, how many goals we ticked off our 2015 new year's resolution list, and what we hope to achieve in the coming year. While having a new year's resolution isn't a bad thing, without the attribute of self-control, our resolutions may end up looking the same in five years time as we continue to procrastinate.
The Oxford dictionary describes self - control as 'the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations'.
While nobody in their right mind begins their year with the intention of failing, our actions may well direct us towards failure. Let's take weight loss for example as this is a typical goal for most people. The intention of losing weight, eating healthily and going to the gym is often trumped by the need for instant gratification.
An uncontrolled appetite says I want 'x' and I must get it now. Instant gratification leads people to pump their bodies with unhealthy foods that they know may lead to future health issues such as diabetes. However, the fact that our daily choices do not result in immediate negative consequences means that many continue with poor decisions that are detrimental to their bodies.
We can plan to build better relationships but a failure to control what we say in the heat of the moment may result in damaged relationships. We may plan to buy a house but spending the majority of our salary within the first two weeks of being paid on things we do not need only takes us further away from our plans. We may plan to write a book, start a business or travel and wonder where time has gone while we scroll endlessly through the internet.
A disciplined person has more chances of achieving their goals and leading their lives compared to a person that lacks it. The good news is that self-control is a character trait that can be learned and practised. The more you exercise it, just like a muscle, the stronger you become.
Rather than just setting another goal for 2016, why not consider incorporating self-control and discipline into your day to day activities? You may end up ticking the goals off your list with this new mindset.
Author - CHRISTIANA MAKANJUOLA